This week, let’s embrace disorder and its creative power.

One recent afternoon I found myself inside a large cavernous space filled with thousands of excited kids and millions of LEGO bricks. No, I wasn’t having a nightmare during a nap. I’m a parent; I don’t expect to take a nap until 2019 at the earliest. I was at a LEGO expo.

Here are some of the epiphanies I had during that afternoon:

  • Stepping on a single piece of LEGO: horribly painful. Stepping on a gazillion LEGO blocks: surprisingly pleasant. (How come an enterprising podiatrist hasn’t come up with Legotherapy yet?)
  • Structures, statues, and mini-universes might be impressive and fun. But nothing was more satisfying — on several sensory levels — than the brick pit.

If you’ve never seen a brick pit, imagine a huge, unwalled ball pit… full of LEGO. Or just look at the photo I took of its endless, chaotic depths:


Just like with building blocks of all types, we’re often under the impression that photography needs to be orderly and neat, and serve some overarching design or idea. What I loved about the brick pit — and my photo of it — is that it embraced the creative potential of disorderly randomness: one huge heap of colorful, pixel-like atoms.

This week, share your own take on chaos, whether it’s the mess in your living room, a busy street crossing, a party on the verge of getting a little out of hand, or any other subject that celebrates a lack of (visual) control.

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  1. Hi Ben – You are SO right about stepping on a single Lego!! My foot hurts just reading your post.

    I’ve taken your topic of chaos in a different direction. For some, these are days of political chaos. There are small antidotes that can help bring moments of peace. This Great Blue Heron gone fishing is one small diversion:

    Best, Babsje


  2. Can you please guide me as to how a pingback works? If I want to ping a post to a particular challenge, how does that work? Maybe it’s basic, but am struggling. thanks


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